When companies from more than 20 countries around the world need the equipment and manufacturing expertise to get their jobs done, they come to Wetaskiwin.
More specifically, to Manluk Industries, a company founded and grown right here in central Alberta.
Founded in 1978 by Manfred Luebke as Wetaskiwin Machine, today, Manluk Industries has grown to five manufacturing facilities spanning more than 200,000 sq. ft. Together, the team provides turnkey manufacturing solutions for more than 52 centres worldwide, says Manfred’s son, Manluk President and CEO Frank Luebke.
The company employs more than 200 today – skilled trades including machinists, welders, engineers and others along with an extensive apprenticeship program training the next generation. Among their vast suite of services are forging, welding, machining and special processes, along with application-specific, wear-resistant materials such as those useful in the excavation and processing of the Alberta Oil Sands.
That breadth and diversity has ensured that despite local slowdowns in the oil and gas industry, and pressures of inflation and higher taxation, booming sectors in other parts of the world have kept the company not only busy, but growing – expected to continue throughout 2023 and beyond, Frank says.
And while he doesn’t see oil and gas disappearing any time soon, Manluk Industries is also perfectly poised to manufacture the essentials for green technologies such as wind and solar energy. “Every windmill needs to be manufactured, and every solar panel needs something to mount it to,” he notes.
Where challenges exist, Frank sees opportunity.
Among Alberta’s business and manufacturing sectors, he looks forward to a united approach, regardless of which side of the political aisle individuals walk, in lobbying for changes that can fill skilled worker shortages for example. “One of the biggest things right now for Western Canada is for us to stick together a lot more as business and come with a solid appeal to government,” he says.
Locally, the diversity of skilled trades opportunities, mentorship and continued investment in cutting-edge technology such as robotics all point to rewarding career opportunities for men and women wanting to build a life in Wetaskiwin.
Of course, “life” also means family, which is why Frank believes in building flexibility into the job as well as supporting the community resources that make Wetaskiwin “home.”
“We try to be as flexible as we can with our shifts, for example,” he says. “We also sponsor the Manluk Theatre and the aquatic centre, so families and kids have things to do locally.”
If you’re driven to succeed and want a new challenge, send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about initiatives to grow local business and industry, visit Wetaskiwin’s Economic Development office at wetaskiwin.ca/831/Invest-Wetaskiwin